POIPET, Cambodia-The 50,000th Cambodian refugee to return home under the auspices
of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) crossed the border from Thailand
to Cambodia on July 13.
Srei Roeung, his wife Tet Mom, and their two-year-old daughter were greeted by officials
from UNHCR and the Thai government in a simple ceremony at Poipet. The family then
continued on to Sisophon, where they boarded the "Sisophon Express" train
for Phnom Penh.
A former monk who left Cambodia in 1979, Srei Roeung and his family were among 1,175
refugees who returned to their homeland in the 87th convoy to cross from Thailand
since repatriation started on March 30.
The rate of repatriation has risen steadily over the past three months, with 928
returning in March, 4,837 in April, 13,426 in May, and 20,029 in June. UNHCR hopes
to bring more than 25,000 refugees back in July.
Meanwhile, with approval from health authorities, repatriation has resumed from Site
2 camp, where cases of cholera were reported in June.